Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
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- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
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- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
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- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
C.B. Strike: The Series
While J.K. Rowling is most famous for her Harry Potter universe books and films, she has also dabbled in muggle based mystery novels under the pen name of Robert Galbraith. The C.B. Strike series of novels started being published in 2014, and it wasn’t very long before Galbraith (or Rowling really) had her first novel turned into a TV series. Well, I should say a TV mini series as C.B. Strike mimics the style of the BBC’s Sherlock instead of your traditional 10-20+ episode style that the American public is used to. Instead, the series uses 2-3 episodes per “season” (which are really just comprised of each of the three novels that were published at the time), and stretches them out to a full hour in length. Each episode being heavily serialized in nature as well.
I went into C.B. Strike: The Series COMPLETELY blind. Besides knowing that J.K. Rowling was the actual author of the series of books, I knew next to nothing about the characters, actors, or issues that the series had coming to screen. As a complete virgin to the books and TV show, I was more than pleasantly surprised with what I watched. The show plays off a bit like a mix of Sherlock and Sam Spade, with a bit of a British twist that his delightfully charming. It doesn’t have the benefit of having big name stars like Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, but Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger do well with the typical gumshoe material.
Long story short, Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) is a down and out private investigator who is on hard times. Like most of his ilk in cinema and novels, Strike was a brilliant man who lived a more privileged life, but is now living out of his private office, one paycheck away from bankruptcy, and really no one likes his harsh attitude. He’s introduced to his new temp secretary, one Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger) when she’s foisted on him by his temp agency, and before long the two are investigating a murder that has befallen a family friend.
C.B. Strike, across all three seasons, left me with this nagging feeling that I had seen this before. And then it hit me, I had seen this before, in a half dozen other TV shoes and novels. This is your typical gumshoe material, with some fairly typical scenarios playing out. Now this isn’t a bad thing, as mystery writers have done this for hundreds of years (read Arthur Conan Doyle’s works, and you’ll soon realize just how many mystery novelists have copied him over the decades), and the end results speak for themselves. The series is quite enjoyable and a treat to watch, as the real pull of the series comes from Cormoran Strike and Robin. Their relationship is slightly atypical in that there is not sexual/romantic tension between the two as in most of these stories, but instead Robin acts as a female Watson in a sense. She’s a solid friend, and a valuable aid in his studies, and sort of “centers” strike as he deals with his own interpersonal demons.
Not Rated by the MPAA
• The Silkworm (New Featurette) – Jumping back into their roles for the second installment of C.B. Strike, Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger explore the deeper side to their characters’ newest journey and the perks of filming in London.
• Career of Evil (New Featurette) – Plunge into the exciting third installment of Robert Galbraith’s detective series C.B. Strike with in-depth insights from actors Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger as they leave London and discover the deepening relationship between Cormoran and Robin.
Again, C.B. Strike is nothing new in the mystery genre, but it is a fun series that really is a delight to watch due to the characters. The fat is trimmed dramatically from your standard 10+ episode standard and the 2-3 hour run time per mystery makes it go by at record pacing. Supposedly the 4th novel, “Lethal White” will be around the corner shortly, and that it very well may dramatically shake up the entire structure of the show (however that might play out). I for one am looking forward to the Cinemax show and really do hope that the 4th novel comes to fruition on screen, as Burke and Holliday are fantastic together and, as a mystery fan, I can’t help but get sucked in almost as much as I do with Sherlock. Warner’s DVD set is pretty solid, with good video and audio, but only about 15 minutes of special features. Definitely recommended for a watch.
Starring: Tom Burke, Holliday Grainger, Kerr
Created by: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG 2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 449 Minutes
DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Recommendation: Good Watch